Lorraine Pascale is a UK beauty. Supermodel turned chef and this year has been invading North America. In October, she was a judge on the Worst Bakers in America, and now you can catch her on Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network Sunday nights at 9.
“We have twelve bakers and each week one person goes home. Those are the best of the best. They all have different holiday tasks, baking tasks. Some are accomplished home bakers and others are professional pastry chefs. It’s great to see such a mix of talent in one room. It’s great because it’s homey and comforting, the days are getting cooler, unless you’re in LA.”
Pascale says she enjoyed her time on Worst Bakers because when you mess up, it’s very transparent. “Worst Bakers [was] very exciting because once something goes wrong with baking, it goes very, very wrong. There’s no comeback. You can’t hide. If you do a stir fry and it goes wrong, no one’s going to know it’s bad unless you actually taste it. When you’re tasting, it’s very clear.”
One of her favourite recipes is a tart she posted on Facebook (seen below). “It’s vegan and gluten free and it’s very good.”
The switch from supermodel to chef was a long time coming. “It was about ten years ago. I had my daughter. She’s 20 now. I was living in New York. I was modeling and I was enjoying things, but as time went on, I realized I really wanted to do something that I was passionate about. I did many courses and I found that baking was something that I really enjoyed.”
In October, Pascale had to report a Twitter troller to UK Police. “Someone was just very racist, just said some unacceptable words on Twitter. Very abusive. In the United Kingdom now, it’s a criminal offense to harass, abuse, bully or be racist on social media. It is a jailable offense.”
Lorraine Pascale can be seen on Holiday Baking Championship Sunday nights on the Food Network.
A little sunflower oil, for greasing
125g pitted Medjool dates
250g pecan nuts
150g plain cashew nuts, soaked, see intro
50g pitted Medjool dates
seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1 large handful of blueberries (about 50g)
1 large handful of raspberries (about 50g)
1 large handful of blackberries (about 50g)
leaves from ½ bunch of fresh mint or basil
Grease and line the bases of four x 5 inch individual, fluted or straight sided tart cases with baking parchment and set aside on a tray.
Place the dates and pecans for the crust in a food processor or mini blender and blitz until they start to clump together. Then divide the mixture equally between the tins. Press the mixture onto the base and up the sides of each one, making sure it is of even thickness. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes whilst you get on with the rest of the recipe.
Place the soaked and drain cashews, the dates and vanilla seeds in a food processor or mini blender along with 100ml of cold water. Blend until as smooth as possible to give a creamy mixture.
Once the tart bases have set and are feeling firm, remove them from the fridge and divide the cashew cream between them. Spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Top with the berries and then scatter over the mint or basil to serve.